Summer may be dying down, but that doesn’t mean there's no more fun to be had. This weekend September 17th & 18th, Put-in-Bay hosts not one but two events guaranteed to push the sun back up into the sky for a little bit longer and great times at the Put-in-bay Resort.
The party starts Friday with Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day, an island wide celebration that helps revelers stand the long wait until March. The St. Patty’s Day event lasts all weekend, and as the only Irish pub on the island, Hooligans will be stretching the event into a whole week. Saturday will mark the 37th annual New Year’s Eve at the Bay, a night of Monte Carlo-style games that brings all the island employees together for a night of fun and raises money for the Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau.
Tyler Whidden, general manager of Hooligans, explained that Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day started last year as a way to keep things on the island busy as the season comes to a close. “Essentially what we’re going to do this year is make it a week-long celebration, beginning with a parade at 2 o’clock on Saturday,” Whidden said. “We’ve asked the other bars to join us. They can get a float together, and we’re just going to go all around town. Last year for the parade we had about 60 people involved.”
The celebration itself kicks off on Sept. 17, and Whidden said that there will be drink specials all over the island. He said that Hooligans will be bringing in bagpipers from Avon Lake and hosting all sorts of other Irish themed activities. In terms of live entertainment, Whidden noted that the event will feature Detroit-based band The Kreelers, which he calls “one of our favorite bands of the summer.” In addition to playing the bar at night, Whidden said they will continue their tradition of playing a Sunday afternoon acoustic set, or “porch party,” from 1-4 p.m. on Sunday.
Whidden pointed out that the Put-in-Bay celebration is just another way to get people over to Put-in-Bay one more time. “In the fall we try to have things on the islands to keep people coming up here, and we just try to keep it fun,” he explained. “Everybody on the island will be celebrating Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day. We’re just taking it a little bit farther because we are the Irish pub, so we’ll have the parade and the bagpipes and everything, too.” He added that the event was a success last year. “It was really popular,” he said. “We filled the bar up, and this year we’ll have the football games on again, so everybody seems to enjoy it.”
If Halfway to St. Patrick’s day isn’t quite your style, New Year’s at Put-in-Bay is a nice alternative. Suzi Chrysler, manager of Misty Bay Boutique and chair of the event, said that the Saturday night event is a great way to support the island Chamber of Commerce. “We close off Delaware Avenue, and we do Monte Carlo style games from 6 o’clock in the evening until 11 o’clock,” she said. The event is all run by volunteers, and the evening is split into two shifts from 6-8:30 p.m. and 8:30-11 p.m.
“It’s a whole lot of fun,” she added. “It’s all of the local business people, managers and employees who come out and we try to have a really, really good time, and hopefully make some money.”
She said that the event will have several tables of Texas Hold’em and blackjack, plus two Big 6 wheels and a horse race wheel, among other games. The event is used to benefit the Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau, meaning “most of the people who play and win end up donating the money back to (the) Chamber, so that’s kind of a nice thing, too,” Chrysler said.
In the end, New Year’s Eve at the Bay is about the community coming together to reminisce and catch up after another busy summer. “It’s just that a lot of us don’t get to see each other a whole lot in the summer because we’re all so busy,” Chrysler said. “It’s kind of nice to get the whole community together and kind of see how everyone’s season went. It’s just a really laid back evening for everybody to be together and try to support our Chamber as much as we can.” She added that the event is “a whole of fun, even if you’re just an onlooker.”
Whether you prefer a celebration of Irish heritage or a night of Monte Carlo-style games, this weekend on Put-In-Bay is sure to be a great time. Head over to the island and take part in some of the great events that have made this popular destination a hot spot for years. For Hotel reservations call the central reservation number at 888-742-7829.
Put-in-Bay is a popular vacation spot just 2 miles offshore of mainland Northwest Ohio in Lake Erie. While "Put-in-Bay" is technically the name of the village on South Bass Island, the name commonly is inadvertently used to refer to the entire island. A summer resort since the mid-1800's, the village can be considered the hub of tourism among the Lake Erie Islands, with its numerous taverns, wineries, restaurants, waterfront condos, rental homes, and hotels.